14 fascinating facts about Apple’s iPhone

Eight years since its debut, Apple’s iPhone has changed and conquered the smartphone market. Here are some interesting facts you might not know about the iPhone.

8 years of iPhone
Not only did the iPhone usher in the modern day smartphone era as we know it, it also helped propel Apple to un-imagined financial success. In the eight years since the iPhone first hit store shelves in 2007, we’ve seen an astounding level of technological innovation. Today, the number of things we can do with our smartphones is absolutely mind boggling. In light of the iPhone’s recent eight-year anniversary, we’ve compiled a number of interesting facts about the iPhone that most people may not be aware of. From secret details regarding the iPhone’s development to how many iPhones Apple has sold to-date, there should be something here of interest for everyone.

1. iphone ipad
Even though the iPad came out a few years after the iPhone, Apple was actually exploring a tablet device before the idea for an iPhone even began to take shape. As relayed by Steve Jobs himself during a 2010 All Things D interview, Jobs explained how he wanted Apple engineers to research various tablet designs with a virtual keyboard. When they came back to him with a device featuring multitouch functionality, Jobs thought that Apple could apply that technology to a phone. As Jobs told Walt Mossberg, Apple “put the tablet aside and we went to work on the phone.”

2. iphone verizon
Before the iPhone launch, Apple needed a partner. Naturally, Apple opted to approach Verizon first, it being the largest and arguably most highly regarded carrier in the U.S. Verizon, however, balked at Apple’s offer. Specifically, Verizon didn’t want to cede any control to Apple. Cingular (now AT&T), meanwhile, needed a big smartphone exclusive to remain competitive, so it was more than willing to agree to Apple’s typically stringent demands. As a quick example of Apple’s demands, Apple insisted that the iPhone would only house its own logo, not that of a carrier.

3. iphone 700 million
This past March, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple has sold over 700 million iPhones. While we haven’t yet heard an update to that figure, Apple’s earnings reports suggest that cumulative iPhone sales may fast be approaching 800 million. If we conservatively estimate that current iPhone sales fall in the 750 million range, that means Apple has been averaging approximately 7.8 million iPhones a month for eight years running now.

4. iphone money
It’s not even close. Apple’s iPhone is the company’s primary money maker and, in most quarters, the iconic smartphone accounts for nearly 70% of all of Apple’s revenue. Today, Apple has nearly $200 billion in the bank, an astounding fact that’s primarily attributable to consistently strong iPhone sales.

5. iphone time 941
If you pay close attention, you might have noticed that all iPhone advertisements show the device at a time set to 9:41. This is no coincidence. Former Apple executive Scott Forstall once explained, “We design the (product launch) keynotes so that the big reveal of the product happens around 40 minutes into the presentation. When the big image of the product appears on screen, we want the time shown to be close to the actual time on the audience’s watches. But we know we won’t hit 40 minutes exactly.” As a point of interest, the default display times on iPhones used to be 9:42.

6. iphone curved glass
Early in the iPhone’s hardware design process, Apple experimented with a variety of prototype designs. Notably, one design that Apple was particularly bullish on involved curved glass. Apple, however, ultimately abandoned this idea because the process of cutting the glass was too cost prohibitive at the time. The photo seen here is an actual curved glass iPhone prototype that was released during Apple and Samsung’s landmark 2012 trial.

7. samsung a8 processor
Despite a string of lawsuits between Samsung and Apple, the two companies remain important partners. Even though Apple has tried to lessen its reliance on Samsung in recent years, the bulk of the A-x processors that power Apple’s beloved devices come from Samsung.

8. iphone retina
While device teardowns don’t provide the true cost involved in putting a device together (they don’t factor in R&D, design, assembly costs, etc.), they do help up us get a grasp on how much each individual component costs. To that end, teardowns of various iPhone models over the years have shown that the display is the iPhone’s most expensive component. On the iPhone 6, for instance, the display costs $45. On the larger-screened iPhone 6 Plus, the display costs $52. After the display, the most expensive components tend to be the wireless chips from Qualcomm.

9. original iphone
In creating the iPhone, Steve Jobs gave Scott Forstall free rein to assemble a team of his choosing. There was, however, just one rule — he couldn’t hire anyone from outside Apple. As a result, Forstall proceeded to handpick the best engineers at Apple no matter what division they were in. Interestingly enough, when pitching the project to prospective team members, Forstall couldn’t even tell them what it was about, only mentioning that it would require hard work and that they’d have to “give up nights” and work weekends for quite some time.

10. steve jobs iphone
When Steve Jobs famously demoed the original iPhone at Macworld 2007, the device was still very much in prototype form. Indeed, Apple engineers have subsequently said that they were pleasantly shocked that the entire demonstration went off without a hitch. From fixing Wi-Fi connectivity that would drop off randomly to a host of other usability problems, Apple engineers went into overdrive in between the iPhone’s introduction and its original debut in stores about five months later.

11. iphone loyalty
Without fail, studies on smartphone retention demonstrate that iPhone users are more likely to upgrade to another iPhone than Android users are likely to upgrade to another Android device. As a result, market share figures tend not to paint an accurate portrait of smartphone dynamics.

12. iphone cisco
Initially, Cisco owned the ‘iPhone’ trademark. That, though, didn’t stop Apple from calling its newfangled device the iPhone. After its January 2007 unveiling, Apple and Cisco eventually settled their dispute with both companies promising to collaborate together on products in the future. The fruits of that cooperation, if it ever even took place, have never been seen.

13. iphone plastic
Initially, the iPhone display was going to be made out of plastic. However, after testing the device in real-world situations, Steve Jobs noticed that his keys were constantly scratching up the display. As a result, Apple opted for glass.

14. cydia iphone
The meaning behind Cydia, the iPhone jailbreak software, is symbolic
As it turns out, Cydia, which is software used to jailbreak the iPhone, is named after an apple worm called cydia pomonella.


 

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The cloud is complex, so Intel’s launched a sweeping project to fix it

The first step is a project with Rackspace to make OpenStack easier to deploy and manage

Intel has kicked off a broad effort to speed the adoption of the modern cloud infrastructure, which it says has been slow to take off because the software is complex and takes too long to deploy.

“Most people look at the market and say ‘The cloud is on fire’,” Jason Waxman, head of Intel’s cloud infrastructure group, told reporters Thursday. “We’re in a position to say, ‘You know what? It’s not moving fast enough.'”

To speed its growth, Intel has kicked off a multi-pronged effort, called the Cloud for All initiative, that includes hiring hundreds of additional engineers to work on open-source cloud software, setting up two massive compute clusters where companies can test and validate applications, and making further investments and acquisitions itself.

Its first move is a partnership with Rackspace to make the popular OpenStack cloud platform enterprise-ready and easier to use. Intel and Rackspace will hire hundreds of engineers at a development center near San Antonio, Texas, to work on OpenStack components such as its scheduling software, network capabilities and container services.

The goal is not to create “yet another OpenStack distribution,” Waxman said, but to improve “the overall health of the project.” The companies will also make OpenStack easier to scale.

“Today at best, the most successful OpenStack deployments scale to a few hundred nodes,” he said. “Our goal is to enable enterprise class features at scale for thousands of nodes,”

Within six months, Rackspace and Intel will provide developers with free access to two 1,000-node compute clusters where they can test their applications, and Rackspace will offer training programs around the software. Intel picked Rackspace to work with because it’s an original developer of OpenStack and runs one of the largest OpenStack public clouds.

The cloud is a fuzzy term but Intel is referring generally to an architecture in which applications are virtualized, or running in software containers, and can be set up and pulled down with high levels of automation.

The architecture is said to help IT departments cut costs and respond to business needs more quickly. But while large companies like Amazon and Google have turned it into a science, most businesses are struggling to get there.

The problem, as Intel sees it, is that choosing and deploying the software to build a cloud is too complex for most companies to handle. There’s an abundance of hypervisors, orchestration software and developer environments, and within those options there are further configuration choices to be made.

“That makes it hard to build a fully functional, reliable cloud stack. It takes a lot of expertise,” said Diane Bryant, the senior vice president in charge of Intel’s data center group.

Deployments take months to complete and customers end up with systems that are “like snowflakes,” she said — “unique and a bit fragile.”

The work with Rackspace is only the first step in the Cloud for All initiative, in which Intel will work with other partners to simplify and build out components for a “software defined infrastructure.”

Intel’s goal is to enable “tens of thousands” of new public and private clouds to be built, and to enable a typical enterprise to build a “full functioning, self service cloud portal” in a single day, Bryant said.

The initiative also includes further investments by Intel, and work with standards bodies and other stakeholders. Intel isn’t talking about those other investments and partnerships today, but Bryant said to expect “20 major announcements” from Intel over the coming year.


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The Apple Watch disrupts, but is that enough?

For some it’s a must-have, but others may want to wait before committing

Disruptive technology doesn’t come along often, and is often initially dismissed because it’s easy to ignore something you’ve lived an entire life without. But every once in a while a bit of tech comes along that makes it easier to do what you’re already doing.

This is the Apple Watch.
I wasn’t always sold on the concept. Aside from issues related to appearance/style, functionality, personalization, fitness tracking, and useful interaction methods, my big concern was this: What real-world problem would an Apple watch solve? Knowing the obstacles was one thing; solving those problems was something else entirely. I was skeptical.

The engineers at Apple not only understood those issues but figured out solutions. By the time Apple execs finished unveiling their vision for the modern watch last September, I was ready to give the technology a shot. As someone who’s built a career around tech, I couldn’t remember the last time a watch of any type inspired an emotional reaction.

Much of my excitement stemmed from the new technologies, especially the Digital Crown and Force Touch, both of which work wonderfully in the real world.

Crowning achievement

With the Digital Crown, Apple engineers turned a feature already present in watches into a scroll wheel for selecting options and quickly sliding through list views. It’s used to access apps, very much like an iPhone’s Home Button, when pressed. Double-pressing it switches between the last-used app and the Clock app; holding the Crown down activates Siri; and when you use it to scroll to the end of a list, it even becomes harder to turn. (That last feature shows the obsessive level of detail that’s characteristic of Apple.)

Apple
Handing off scrolling and button-like functionality to the crown is so obvious — in retrospect — that it’s amazing no one came up with the idea beforehand. This is typical Apple.

With Force Touch, the Apple Watch’s Retina display can respond not only to touch and gestures, but can sense when additional force is applied to the screen. That extra pressure brings up additional options in supported apps: It can call up app settings, dismiss notifications, pause or end workouts, select audio and video sources in Remote, and customize Watch faces. The cleverness of Force Touch is that these actions would otherwise need their own onscreen icons, using up precious space in a device with limited screen real-estate.

Force Touch works so well in the real world that the technology has started spreading to other Apple products, like the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pro laptops. It’s only a matter of time before iPads and iPhones get this, too.

Uniting and adding to these new technologies is a tried-and-true method that underpins the success of the Watch: Siri. On the Watch, Siri is used for all sorts of voice commands, like setting timers, checking weather, launching apps — as well as for dictating messages. The Apple Watch relies on Siri for functions that would normally require a keyboard; without Siri, the Watch would fail.

These three technologies allow the Watch to stand above competitors’ offerings. Physically, though, the Watch has the distinction of actually looking like a Watch — and a nice watch at that. It’s not embarrassing to wear, regardless of the occasion. Watch Bands can be removed and swapped out easily and the number of Watch/band combos continues to rise.

Apple Watch makes technology as fashionable as possible, more so than any previous attempts in the category from anyone else. But, while it (debatably) looks great — especially for a wearable computer — the key to usability (and success) is software: the Watch operating system, apps and ecosystem.
Fitness and notifications

When I got my Apple Watch in April, I was looking for it to do two things: be a fitness accessory/advisor and a notification system for important alerts. However, I underestimated the importance of apps. There are well over 4,000 now available, with more coming. Currently, apps have flaws — many are still slow to load, and the display will often turn off before they load fully — but that should improve significantly with native app support, which is coming this fall with the Watch OS 2.0 update. That update promises faster app launches and developer access to features not available to them now, including the accelerometer and the heart rate monitor. There will also be support for non-Apple Complications, and Night Stand mode (which works wonderfully with my favorite stand from Nomad).

In 2007, when the first iPhone was released, I wrote about a digital future where data is at your fingertips. That future is now; We’re living the mobile dream, with devices like the iPhone designed with portability and instant access to all sorts of information. That also means a world in which our devices never shut up. In practical use, this is one of the areas the Watch truly shines: filtering digital noise.

The Watch is clearly the type of product that grows on you. I’m still using my iPhone; the Watch hasn’t made it obsolete, especially because it relies on the phone for so much backend work. But when I pull the iPhone out, it’s for different reasons now. I can quickly respond to texts, control music, check my calendar for upcoming events, track packages, check on the order status of Apple Store purchases, and get directions via the Watch without getting sucked into other apps — which happens when I pick up the iPhone.

This is a big deal for me. The iPhone, with all it can do, is a gigantic time-suck, and it’s easy to fall into the trap. The Watch is designed for short bursts of interactions, without the distractions inherent to a device that does just about everything.

Fitness tracking is still a huge deal for me, but as someone who uses the Watch to track running, basketball, and especially weight lifting, I’m not very impressed. While the Watch has excellent heart rate monitoring sensors, they only work well if you’re using it to track an activity in which your arms wave about. In those cases, the Watch is spot on.
Weightlifters need not apply

Tracking activities like lifting weights or pushups is another matter, and here is where the Watch falls on its proverbial face. If you’re an active weight-lifter and are in the market for a fitness tracker, this isn’t it. When lifting weights, the heart monitoring is the worst feature of the Watch. It’s supposed to monitor your heart rate every 10 minutes in normal mode, and every 10 seconds during a workout. But when Apple released the 1.0.1 update, it changed that behavior so that if the Watch senses movement in normal mode, it skips the heart rate reading. This is absurd. The opposite should occur: if the Watch senses sustained, increased movement, the correct response is to instantly check pulse rate to gauge exertion levels. (The inaccurate readings while lifting weights is a known issue and is supposed to be resolved with a future software update, but who knows when.)

Apple Watch BPM

What isn’t disappointing, though, is that the Watch is more water proof than I thought. I’ve used the Watch in showers, hot tubs, and while swimming. I didn’t dive beyond 15 feet, but I wore it while playing basketball in a pool, and I was in the water for hours. Do I recommend getting it wet? Not really, and neither does Apple. But you can. (The Watch is rated to survive 30 minutes at one meter’s depth.)

The technology in the Apple Watch will, of course, improve with each successive software update (and each new generation of the Watch itself). Even so, the Watch already marks the first time technology as fashion has sold in large numbers. When I wrote my first iPhone review, I said that breakthrough products like this really leave an imprint in time, in which we can literally see the pivot point: before and after. Even though I’m disappointed in tracking an activity like lifting weights, the Watch is that kind of product.

The more people purchase and use the Watch, the more attention the device will get from third-party developers and service providers. There will come a point when the number of wearers will be hard to ignore forcing businesses and third parties to support the services those wearers expect, especially something like Apple Pay.

But is that today?

So, should you get one?

I’m in an interesting position regarding whether I recommend the Watch. At this point, you likely know whether or not you want a Watch. Apple has already sold more of them in a few weeks than all of the competition sold in years, and I’m clearly a fan (as are other Watch owners I know). But it’s still too soon to know whether the functions and fashion it offers — or will offer in future iterations — will be enough to lure the hoards of new users that follow early adopters.

Two years ago I figured if an Apple Watch were ever released, it would be because Apple leaders were confident of its impact. I said then that I’d have to see it to believe it.

Well, I’ve seen it, I’ve used it, and I’m a believer: Despite the first-generation problems, you can have my Watch after you pry it from my cold, dead wrist.


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How to deploy tablets to your mobile workforce

Wakefield Canada needed a new tablet PC for use in the field. Who better to ask then the very folks who’d have to use the mobile devices? Here’s what they chose and why.

When Wakefield Canada, the exclusive distributor for Castrol in Canada, set out to replace the tablets used by their sales team, it went right to the source to figure out what to buy: The people who would be using them in the field.

“A big part of this was really involving our end users in the tool selection,” says Kent Mills, Wakefield Canada CTO.
MORE: 10 mobile startups to watch

The company landed on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Here’s why – and how they made an easy transition.
Target the real customer

Even though the tablets would be used for sales purposes, the real customer here was the sales people who would be using the devices. The first question IT asked was what didn’t they like about the devices they were already using?

“Feedback from the salesforce was that tablets were nice but they were too slow to start up, heavy to lug around and they just weren’t feeling like they were that convenient to use,” says Mills.

IT chose several potential candidates as replacements, including options from HP, Samsung, Microsoft and Apple.

Then, in conjunction with the salesforce, IT created a matrix of what they wanted in a device, including communication, design, display, integration, performance, peripherals, support and security.

Then the company’s top five sales representatives were each given a tablet. After a week, they rotated tablets to the next salesperson until each one had used all five device candidates, and scored how they did in each category.

“It wasn’t even close. Microsoft was unanimous by a very hefty margin,” says Mills. He admits that the Surface Pro 3 wouldn’t have been his first initial choice, but he’s not the one who had to use the tablet. After completing the matrix, it was clear that the salesforce was choosing the best tool for them.

“It’s not about me. I’m not the guy using it at the end of the day,” he says.
Laptop and tablet combined

“It’s a fine machine for an on-the-road laptop,” says Dan Bricklin, CTO of Alpha Software, a mobile enterprise app development company. “It can act very well as a laptop but it can also be used as a tablet in a sales environment.”

That can be key in sales, he says, because tablets are inherently social. “A laptop sits between you and another person. If you’re in a sales situation, you can turn it around but you can’t really share it. A tablet you can place down on the desk and two people who either sit across from each other or next to each other can easily share it,” he says. “It works like brochure marketing material. It’s wonderful for a sales environment, presentation type of thing.”

Wakefield Canada works on all types of tablets, including iPads. He says they’re powerful machines and can be perfect for people who have to stand up a lot in their work environment, like inspectors and health services employees. There, weight is a big factor, and something slim like an iPad Air might be a better choice (it weighs just under a pound versus the 1.76 pounds of the Surface Pro 3).

But for salespeople, a tablet with more laptop-like functionality may be more appropriate, as it has been for Wakefield Canada. For the record, Bricklin talked to CIO.com while using his own Surface Pro 3.

An additional benefit of the Surface Pro 3 is that, for people who travel, it can replace a laptop and still be used with a docking station in the office or at home. Wakefield Canada has arranged for the Surface Pro 3s to be tethered to smartphones, which means the tablets can always be connected, no matter where the salesperson is.
Sell the change

Even though Wakefield Canada’s top sales reps chose the Surface Pro 3, the company still had to get the rest of the sales team – about 50 people in total – on board with the decision.

Before its national meeting, where employees would be getting their new Surface Pro 3s, IT send out teaser videos. Some included a quiz, and the first three employees to send back correct responses got a coffee gift card. “By the time they got here, they’d seen all the videos and they were jazzed about it,” says Mills.

In the meeting, they added what Mills calls “a little sizzle” to the introduction of the new machines. They themed the transition as “the best of both worlds because you can easily break it apart,” he says, referring to how the Surface Pro 3 can snap away from its stand. The presentation also included breaks like “retro treats” and a “Surface Showdown” based on the “Showcase Showdown” portion of the television game show “Family Feud.” They also had support on hand to help users with any questions they may have had during the transition.

And then they had a little luck. Wakefield Canada made their transition in February, right around the time of Super Bowl XLIX, where Surface Pro 3s were on commentator desks and in the hands of Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll (Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owns the Seahawks, and the team is obviously based in the Redmond, Wash. company’s backyard).

“It’s worked out really well,” says Mills.


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5 facets of the coming Internet of Things boom

A McKinsey study attempts to quantify the economic impact of IoT

Predictions that the Internet of Things (IoT) will usher in a new era of prosperity get some backing in a new study by consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

The study estimates that the annual value of IoT applications may be equivalent — in the best case — to about 11% of the world’s economy in 2025. That’s based on a number of assumptions, including the willingness of governments and vendors to enable interoperability through policies and technologies.

IOT is expected to deliver improvements to the reliability of machines, as well as to individual health and life overall. But it may also be intrusive on privacy, and while the IoT will create new jobs, it will cost some as well.

Here are five major points from this report:
Business IoT applications, not consumer uses, will create more business value, according to McKinsey. No surprise here. Consumer applications such as connected toasters, coffee pots and home entertainment systems offer little in terms of real value — but they do get attention. Enterprise IoT is being used to predict and avoid failures in high-value machinery, such as locomotives and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices. It also allows business to switch from scheduled maintenance programs to condition-based maintenance, where service is performed as needed,l not based on a calendar. This increases equipment reliability and efficient deployment of personnel.

A major share of the IoT’s financial gains are through avoided cost. For instance, doctors can use IoT to monitor a patient’s health. If the person is a diabetic, careful monitoring may prevent hospitalizations. This includes the use not only of wearables but of devices that can be implanted, injected and ingested.
Virtual reality is part of IoT. Virtual reality goggles will observe and guide you step-by-step through an installation process at home and work. This capability will likely arrive first on factory floors and equipment repair shops, but eventually it’ll be available at home.

McKinsey estimates that IoT’s potential economic impact at between $3.9 trillion and $11.1 trillion globally per year by 2025. But interoperability accounts for about 40% of this potential value. Equipment makers now collect data performance info from their own machines, but interoperability with other systems will give an integrated view and improve predictive analysis in environments that use multiple systems. In a municipal setting, for instance, interoperability means that video, cell phone data and vehicle sensors could be used to monitor and optimize traffic flow.

The efficiency gains delivered by IoT will deliver a mixed bag of benefits for human workers. Better equipment monitoring and ubiquitous deployment of sensors may reduce injuries. It could also help eliminate some travel for employees who have to go to remote sites. But McKinsey warns, “some IoT applications in worksite environments substantially reduce the number of employees needed.”


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Tech salaries from industry verticals

In today’s digital world, technology has become a part of everything we do. It touches all parts of today’s marketplace, so it’s not surprising that the tech job market continues to pick up steam. In fact, according to a recent report from staffing firm Modis, demand in the technology job market is expected to grow 18 percent by the year 2022.

Ever wondered if the grass is really greener in another industry? Technology professionals are needed in virtually every business, which opens a world of possibilities to those looking to build a career. But which industry vertical is the right one for you? We can’t answer that, but we can tell you which ones offer the best compensation.

Recently Computerworld and IDG Enterprise conducted their 29th annual salary survey. More than 4,800 IT professionals were surveyed to better understand the needs and wants of tech professionals and IT pros, ongoing trends in the workplace and, of course, salary information across a host of industry verticals. What they found was that compensation for tech jobs increased 3.6 percent over the last year. But how does that pan out across the different industries like manufacturing, education, government, healthcare and others?

Government tech salaries
All IT salaries are not created equal, and each industry has its own average salary for any given technology job and the first stop on our list is the U.S. Government. Coming in at number 5 are tech workers in the government sector. On average, workers here make considerably less than in, say, the manufacturing industry. However, the business of the people never stops, which may make some feel more secure.

Education tech salaries
Colleges have radically changed how classes are delivered and taught. Today’s technology allows students to get a degree from anywhere they can connect to the Internet, bringing education to more people than ever before. Most universities now offer online courses and along with that growth comes new opportunities for tech jobs growth.

IT computer-related services and consulting tech salaries
The IT computer-related services and consulting industry comes in surprisingly at number 5 on the list of highest paid tech salaries. According to Computerworld’s Salary Survey data, on average, the vice president of IT is the highest paid tech worker in this industry making just over $151,000 annually.

Healthcare tech salaries
Technology adds its own challenge to each industry, but healthcare IT seems to be facing a myriad of major challenges, many heavily anchored in technology like telemedicine, ICD-10 implementation and HIPPA/Privacy issues for example. Challenges like this are creating shortages of healthcare IT workers creating opportunities for those steeped in healthcare with a passion for technology.

Legal/Insurance/Real Estate tech salaries
Who of us hasn’t looked for an apartment or shopped for insurance online? The proliferation of apps and websites to support the real estate industry is just one demonstration of how much this industry has evolved into a digital marketplace. The highest average salary here comes in at number three on our list where the CIO averages nearly $192,000.

Manufacturing tech salaries
According to Computerworld’s salary survey data, 49 percent of the tech workers who responded said compensation was the most important factor to them when it comes to job satisfaction and very few industries boast salaries higher than in the manufacturing industry, which tops the list of highest-paid tech salaries.

In this regularly evolving part of the marketplace, CIOs average more than $192,000. That’s not surprising when you think of all the organizations trying to better use technology to innovate and shorten time to market.

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Breach detection: Five fatal flaws and how to avoid them

Even in advanced shops, perimeter-based defense practices still linger, practices based on flawed thinking

IT Security today is not about defending a (non-existent) perimeter, but about protecting the organization’s attack surface, which has changed dramatically due to the cloud, mobility, BYOD, and other advances in corporate computing that have caused fundamental shifts in network architecture and operations.

Practically speaking, it means you need to monitor what is occurring inside the firewall just as much (if not more) than what is outside trying to make its way in. Think of it as a post breach mindset based on a “1,000 points of light” model as opposed to a “moat and castle” model of defense.

In theory its evolutionary, but given the accelerated pace in which security organizations have matured, it is not necessarily an easy transition to make. Not only has the threat landscape changed, but there has been constant flux in the leadership, skills, tools and budget required.

As a result, even in advanced shops, perimeter-based defense practices still linger. Practices based on flawed thinking or misconceptions, which if left unchecked, hinder fast detection and response. Here are some of the ones we see the most:

* Fixation on penetration prevention. Solution: Shift to an “Already compromised” mindset. With APTs more prominent than ever, it’s no longer about if you get breached, but when. You should evolve your security defense accordingly. Instead of focusing on preventing penetration, focus on the adversarial activity that is going on within your network. The good news is you have an advantage; the majority of damage is usually done several months after penetration. Hackers tend to deploy ‘low and slow’ techniques and perform minimal actions per day in order to evade detection, better understand the organization and craft a foolproof roadmap to reach their true target.
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* Accepting simple explanations. Solution: Always dig deeper. Security events are not caused by error or accident. Every piece of evidence should be over-analyzed and malicious intent must always be considered. Because your security teams cannot know all adversarial activities, in a sense they are at a disadvantage; therefore, it is crucial for the teams to over-investigate what they can see in order to reveal other unknown and undetected connecting elements. Security teams must always assume they only see half the picture, working diligently to uncover the rest of the pieces of the puzzle.

* Striving for fast remediation. Solution: Leverage the known. Instead of remediating isolated incidents as fast as possible, the security team should closely monitor the known to understand how it connects to other elements within the environment and strive to reveal the unknown. For example, an unknown malicious process can be revealed if it is connecting to the same IP address as a detected known malicious process. Moreover, when you reveal to the hackers which of their tools are easy to detect, hackers can purposely deploy, in excess, the known tools to distract and waste the defender’s time.

* Focusing on malware. Solution: Focus on the entire attack. Although detecting malware is important, solutions that mainly focus on detecting isolated activity on individual endpoints are unable to properly combat complex hacking operations. Instead, employ a more holistic defense. Leverage automation – analytics and threat intelligence in particular – in order to gain context on the entire malicious operation, as opposed to just the code. Keep in mind that your adversary is a person and malware is one of their most powerful tools, but one of many in their tool kits.

* Letting false alerts get the best of you. Solution: Automate investigation. Because many security solutions produce a large amount of sporadic alerts (many false) with little context, security teams spend endless hours manually investigating and validating alerts produced by their solutions. This lengthy process significantly prolongs security teams from addressing the real question – is there a cyber-attack underway?  Here’s another case where the proper use of automation can dramatically increase productivity as well as detection and response times, which results in less costly and damaging attacks. If there are budgetary constraints that prevent the proper use of automation to aid you in this process, quantify the value the investment you are asking the company to make.

Like many aspects of IT, breach detection is part art, part science. However, what distinguishes a good analyst from a great one is how they think. Avoiding these misconceptions enable security teams to approach breach detection much more strategically and make better use of the resources at their disposal.

 


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Attacking IT security firm was ‘silly thing to do,’ says Kaspersky

It takes a lot of guts for Kaspersky Lab to come forward and admit it was a victim of a hack. Eugene Kaspersky said the “sophisticated, very well-planned attack on our networks, most probably carried out by a government-backed group” was a “silly thing to do.”

So the elevation of privilege patch MS15-061 that Microsoft issued yesterday and labeled as “important” should perhaps be considered “critical” since it was exploited as a zero-day by Duqu 2.0 attackers. Kaspersky Lab reported it to Microsoft and waited for the patch to be released before explaining how it was used against the company.

It takes a lot of guts for Kaspersky to come forward and admit it was a victim of a hack, but it also takes plenty of nerve to disclose nation-state attacks like Duqu, Flame and Gauss, since Duqu attackers link back to Stuxnet. Those same attackers came after Kaspersky with Duqu 2.0.

Eugene Kaspersky said the “sophisticated, very well-planned attack on our networks, most probably carried out by a government-backed group” was a “silly thing to do.” He wrote:

The malware used for this attack is extremely innovative and advanced. For example, it resides in the RAM – the short-term memory of the computer – and tries very hard to avoid making any changes to the hard drive. Its “persistence mechanism” (or rather, its absence) is quite brilliant. Some very serious thinking went into it, and a great many man-hours of some very bright – criminal – minds were spent developing it, meaning millions of dollars were spent on it, too. It’s also likely that the attackers believed it was impossible to detect. Now, I’ve always taken a lot of pride in our people and our technologies, but that pride’s been given a major boost by this news. For it proves one thing: attacking us leads to just one outcome: you get caught – no matter how clever you are. And besides, our initial investigation shows that their catch was not all that impressive.

Although the attackers managed to get access to data related to Kaspersky Lab’s “R&D and new technologies” – and maybe that was the spies were after – it didn’t disrupt the operations and the Duqu 2.0 attack didn’t put Kaspersky’s customers and partners at risk, Kaspersky said.

But the bad guy spies were also after finding out about Kaspersky’s investigations, detection methods and analysis capabilities. “Since we’re well known for successfully fighting sophisticated threats, they sought this information to try stay under our radar. No chance,” Kaspersky wrote on the Kaspersky Lab blog. And if spying on their capabilities was what the attackers were after, it’s “accessible under licensing agreements (at least some of them)!”

The malware is impressively scary, although the Kaspersky Lab blog said to the attackers, “People living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Governments attacking IT security companies is simply outrageous. We’re supposed to be on the same side as responsible nations, sharing the common goal of a safe and secure cyberworld. We share our knowledge to fight cybercrime and help investigations become more effective. There are many things we do together to make this cyberworld a better place. But now we see some members of this ‘community’ paying no respect to laws, professional ethics or common sense.

To me, it’s another clear signal we need globally-accepted rules of the game to curb digital espionage and prevent cyberwarfare. If various murky groups – often government-linked – treat the Internet as a Wild West with no rules and run amok with impunity, it will put the sustainable global progress of information technologies at serious risk. So I’m once again calling on all responsible governments to come together and agree on such rules, and to fight against cybercrime and malware, not sponsor and promote it.

“By targeting Kaspersky Lab, the Duqu attackers have probably taken a huge bet hoping they’d remain undiscovered; and lost,” concludes the Duqu 2.0 (pdf) technical paper. “For a security company, one of the most difficult things is to admit falling victim to a malware attack. At Kaspersky Lab, we strongly believe in transparency, which is why we are publishing the information herein.”

Securelist advised “to check your network for Duqu’s 2.0 presence” as it lists several indicators of compromise, or you can use the open IOC file. Articles detailing Duqu 2.0 are popping up all over the place, but I highly recommend reading the technical paper for yourself. Other Duqu 2.0 victims included a certificate authority in Hungary, companies in the Industrial Control System sector, industrial computers and P5+1 events and venues related to negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.

Additionally, Symantec discovered Duqu 2.0 attackers have no shortage of targets, having gone after “a European telecoms operator, a North African telecoms operator, and a South East Asian electronic equipment manufacturer. Infections were also found on computers located in the US, UK, Sweden, India, and Hong Kong.”

“Duqu 2.0 is a fully featured information-stealing tool that is designed to maintain a long term, low profile presence on the target’s network,” Symantec said. “Its creators have likely used it as one of their main tools in multiple intelligence gathering campaigns.”

Yeah, so about that patch Microsoft rated as “important” … you might get on that right away and think of it more along the lines of critical. Don’t be surprised the patch only ranked as “important” to Microsoft; after all, the company only successfully patched Stuxnet in March 2015. Yes Microsoft did release a patch for Stuxnet in 2010, but as HP’s Zero Day Initiative said, “The patch failed. And for more than four years, all Windows systems have been vulnerable to exactly the same attack that Stuxnet used for initial deployment.”


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Predicting the next CompTIA A+ Exam

Predicting the next CompTIA A+ Exam

Predicting what might be new, improved, or omitted from the next round of CompTIA A+ Certification exams.

Inevitably, CompTIA A+ Certification, the vendor-neutral certification for entry-level computer technicians, has always provided a rear-view-mirror image of computer and network technology. It takes time to determine which operating systems, products, and procedures are necessary for technicians to learn and master, and which ones are doomed to become Jeopardy questions (“Tech Fads for $200, Alex”), such as Microsoft BOB or CueCat. With the next iteration of the CompTIA A+ Certification exams expected in late 2015 or early 2016, it’s anyone’s guess what the exams will look for. However, it’s a useful exercise, so here goes.

What Should Be Added?
In the next generation of exams, I hope to see the following. Let’s start with an easy one:
Coverage of Windows 8.1 or possibly Windows “Threshold”/9

Windows 8.1’s PC Settings menus can be used to configure many (but not all) of the operating systems’s settings.

Windows 8/8.1 present new challenges for tech support, and even though you can still use the Control Panel, anyone working the Help Desk for Windows 8/8.1 has to handle a lot of questions that revolve around the Start screen and its system management features.

Will Windows 9 make the cut? If it is released in the spring of 2015 as expected, there might be enough time. Otherwise, I’d expect it to show up in a refresh of the next exam, much as Windows 7 content was added in a refresh of the 220-701/702 exams a few years ago.

Now, let’s kick it up a notch:
Coverage of Bootable CDs for Troubleshooting

Bypassing an infected operating system with a rescue CD is an important skill that deserves to be covered in the next release of CompTIA A+ Certification exams.

With malware infections capable of preventing computer access to the Internet and installed anti-malware apps, techs frequently need to create and use boot CDs or DVDs that can be used for malware removal, file copying, and disk partitioning. With the number of vendors on the market, it might make the most sense to cover basic features and generalized usage rather than specific step-by-step procedures.

Creating a virtual machine (VM) using Oracle VM VirtualBox

Virtualization is barely touched upon in the current generation of CompTIA A+ Certification objectives. However, whether a tech is working a help desk, testing apps, or testing an operating system, understanding the basic process of setting up a virtualization environment and installing an OS and common apps in a virtual machine is increasingly important. I think it’s time to add to this topic.

The current CompTIA A+ Certification exams ignore multifunction device functions other than printing.

Although multifunction devices (print, scan, copy, fax) devices are much more common than print-only devices, the current CompTIA A+ Certification Printing domain ignores these other features. It’s time to expect certification candidates to have a basic grasp of scanning and copying resolutions and how to set up fax services.

Cross-Platform Networking

The current Networking domain has a strong hardware component, but needs more depth in configuration issues, especially given the greater popularity of MacOS, Android, and iOS devices on SOHO and corporate networks. The exams need objectives covering networks supporting multiple OSes, including basic setup, file sharing, and device sharing.

Missing Objectives in Mobile Devices

With the proliferation of mobile devices in corporations, expect to see more iOS content in the next CompTIA A+ Certification exams

Mobile devices occupy an entire domain in the current tests. Unfortunately, the current test objectives miss two of the most significant issues with mobile devices: BYOD (“bring your own device”) security and mobile device troubleshooting. With tablets starting to outsell laptops and the laptop market splitting into three parts (iOS, Android, and Windows 8.x/9), the mobile device domain badly needs a makeover.

So, those are my nominees for new and improved coverage. Is it time to cut anything loose?

Now Departing…?

Although Windows XP is “officially” no longer supported by Microsoft, some large companies are continuing to pay for support for their vast fleets of XP-based desktop, laptop, and embedded systems. Windows XP is also the base OS for many financial institutions’ ATM machines. CompTIA has never been in a hurry to discontinue coverage of older operating systems, so I’m on the fence about this one. However, it’s probably safe to say that if XP makes the cut for the next test round, that test will probably be the last time XP appears.

What about Windows Vista? Usage-share stats from organizations such as Net Applications, StatCounter, and others show Windows Vista with usage of under 5%, so if CompTIA feels it’s necessary to cut loose an older OS, Vista is a clear candidate.

Now It’s Your Turn

CompTIA A+ Certification is designed to be the first step for IT careerists. What do you think should be on the next generation of tests? Like my suggestions? Think they’re crazy? Sound off in the comments.


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CompTIA Network+ Exam Code N10-006

CompTIA Network+ Exam Code N10-006
Network+ Certification Network+ is an ISO-17024 compliant, vendor-neutral technology certification that verifies the certified individual has the skills and knowledge needed to take on a pivotal role in building, managing, and protecting the critical asset that is the data network.

Recommended as a first professional-level networking certification
Held by nearly half a million people worldwide
12% job growth expected for Network & Computer Systems Administrators (2012 – 2022, according to the BLS
The leading vendor-neutral, globally-recognized networking certification
ISO 17025 compliant
Fulfills US DoD Directive 8570.01-M
Jobs that use Network+

Network Administrator
Network Technician
Network Installer
Help Desk Technician
IT Cable Installer

Keeping the world connected
Network+ helps IT Professionals around the world advance their careers. Don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself in this 2 minute video.

A new version of Network+ (N10-006) will launch on February 28, 2015. The new exam has been updated to reflect the current thinking of industry professionals as well as to reflect technologies used today, with a greater emphasis on practical knowledge, especially how to identify and use elements of a network infrastructure. Significant changes include:

Additional IPv6 concepts.
Emphasis on troubleshooting.
Additional security knowledge.
Knowledge of how to administer key systems.

The main differences between CompTIA Network+ N10-005 and Network+ N10-006 are the following:
Updated terms and technologies in the IT networking field.
More hands-on experiences such as installing, configuring, implementing, managing and troubleshooting.
Three new topics:
Compare and contrast physical security controls.
Summarize basic forensic concepts.
Summarize safety practices.

Companies such as Dell, HP, Ricoh, Sharp and Xerox recommend or require CompTIA Network+ for their networking technicians. It is also a technical prerequisite option for IT technicians seeking to join the Apple Consultants Network, and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The CompTIA Network+ce program is included in the scope of this accreditation, and may be kept current through the CompTIA Continuing Education program.

Test Details
Exam Codes N10-005
JK0-019 (for CompTIA Academy Partners only) N10-006
JK0-023 (for CompTIA Academy Partners only)
Launch Date 1-Dec-11 28-Feb-15

Number of Questions Maximum of 100 questions Maximum of 90 questions
Type of Questions Multiple choice and performance-based

Passing Score
720 (on a scale of 100-900)

Recommended Experience
CompTIA A+ Certification (9) months of networking experience

Languages English, Japanese, German, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Traditional Chinese
English at launch (2/28/15) Japanese and German – in development


 

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QUESTION 1
A technician has verified that a recent loss of network connectivity to multiple workstations is due
to a bad CAT5 cable in the server room wall. Which of the following tools can be used to locate its
physical location within the wall?

A. Cable certifier
B. Multimeter
C. Cable tester
D. Toner probe

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 2
Which of the following is used to authenticate remote workers who connect from offsite? (Select
TWO).

A. OSPF
B. VTP trunking
C. Virtual PBX
D. RADIUS
E. 802.1x

Answer: D,E

Explanation:


QUESTION 3
Which of the following network infrastructure implementations would be used to support files being
transferred between Bluetooth-enabled smartphones?

A. PAN
B. LAN
C. WLAN
D. MAN

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 4
Which of the following would be used in an IP-based video conferencing deployment? (Select
TWO).

A. RS-232
B. 56k modem
C. Bluetooth
D. Codec
E. SIP

Answer: D,E

Explanation:


QUESTION 5
Which of the following helps prevent routing loops?

A. Routing table
B. Default gateway
C. Route summarization
D. Split horizon

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 6
Which of the following is MOST likely to use an RJ-11 connector to connect a computer to an ISP
using a POTS line?

A. Multilayer switch
B. Access point
C. Analog modem
D. DOCSIS modem

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 7
An administrator has a virtualization environment that includes a vSAN and iSCSI switching.
Which of the following actions could the administrator take to improve the performance of data
transfers over iSCSI switches?

A. The administrator should configure the switch ports to auto-negotiate the proper Ethernet
settings.
B. The administrator should configure each vSAN participant to have its own VLAN.
C. The administrator should connect the iSCSI switches to each other over inter-switch links (ISL).
D. The administrator should set the MTU to 9000 on the each of the participants in the vSAN.

Answer: D

Explanation:


QUESTION 8
A network topology that utilizes a central device with point-to-point connections to all other devices
is which of the following?

A. Star
B. Ring
C. Mesh
D. Bus

Answer: A

Explanation:


QUESTION 9
A technician is connecting a NAS device to an Ethernet network. Which of the following
technologies will be used to encapsulate the frames?

A. HTTPS
B. Fibre channel
C. iSCSI
D. MS-CHAP

Answer: C

Explanation:


QUESTION 10
The network install is failing redundancy testing at the MDF. The traffic being transported is a
mixture of multicast and unicast signals. Which of the following would BEST handle the rerouting
caused by the disruption of service?

A. Layer 3 switch
B. Proxy server
C. Layer 2 switch
D. Smart hub

Answer: A

Explanation:

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4 new access points deliver super-fast Wi-Fi

Linksys, Xclaim, Amped and ZyXel bring 802.11ac to SMB, enterprise markets.
access points fast wifi 1

Access points put to the test
We put four new access points to the test, from Linksys, Xclaim, Amped and ZyXel, using the same test-bed and methods as our last review. The Linksys LAPAC1750PRO performed best in the throughput tests and was a feature-rich product. The Amped Wireless AP was a close second in the speed tests and is a solid business-class access point. The Xclaim unit did well given it’s only a two stream (2×2) AP. The ZyXEL unit was last in throughput, but has a number of advanced features in the areas of configuration, management and security. (Read our full review.)

Amped Wireless APR175P
Targeted at the SMB market, the Amped Wireless APR175P bills itself as a high-power long range access point. Priced at $299.99, it is a dual-band three stream (3×3) 802.11ac AP, offering theoretical data rates up to 1,300Mbps for 802.11ac. In our testing, the maximum throughput was 335.6Mbps. This is the only access point in the review that sports external antennas, which provides for either ceiling or wall mounting. In addition to the three external antenna, it has six high power amplifiers and six wireless reception (low noise) amplifiers.

This access point is the only one in the review that supports a router mode. Additionally, it’s the only one that specifically touts being long range and high-power at 500mW output. The built-in controller functionality supports the central management of up to seven access points. This access point allows you to create up to 32 SSIDs with VLAN support. This unit offers load balancing and an intrusion detection system (when in router mode). It also offers an internal RADIUS server supporting the PEAP and TLS methods of 802.1X authentication, enabling the use of the Enterprise mode of WPA2 security.

Linksys LAPAC1750PRO
The Linksys LAPAC1750PRO is targeted towards small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and is priced at $499.99. It is a dual-band three stream (3×3) 802.11ac AP, offering theoretical data rates up to 1,300Mbps for 802.11ac. In our testing, it maxxed out at 436.3Mbps. Inside the unit are three 4.4 dBi internal antennas for 2.4GHz and three 5.2 dBi gain antennas for 5GHz. On the back of the unit are two PoE Gigabit Ethernet ports (one with PoE), AC power jack, and a small reset button.
access points fast wifi 5

When using the Cluster feature, you can centrally manage up to 16 access points using the built-in controller functionality. Once you enable the clustering feature on one access point, others access points will join that cluster. You can centrally change the configuration settings of the cluster via any access point in the cluster. This unit supports the use of up to 16 SSIDs with VLAN support. In addition to traditional AP mode, you can use the unit in WDS and workgroup bridge modes. Its Captive Portal feature supports guest, local, and external RADIUS authentication and can do URL redirection upon authentication. This access point supports rogue AP detection, band steering, and beamforming. It also has basic load balancing functionality.

Xclaim Xi-3
The Xclaim Xi-3 from Ruckus Wireless retails for $199 and is targeted towards small businesses and small office/home office (SOHO) environments and to the non-IT users. It’s the only two stream (2×2) AP in this review, thus naturally offering lower maximum data rates than the other APs: up to 867Mbps for 802.11ac. It hit 315.7 Mbps in our testing. The Xclaim unit has a look and feel between a consumer router and a business access point. On the back/bottom of the access point you’ll find one PoE LAN port, a secondary Ethernet port, small reset button, and an AC power jack. On the back/bottom of the Xclaim AP are the typical AP ports and buttons.

Unlike most other business-class products, this unit is primarily designed to be setup and managed via a mobile app, called Harmony for Xclaim. This unit only provides the traditional AP mode; no WDS or wireless bridging supported. The built-in controller functionality offers central management via the mobile app with a recommended maximum of 10 APs. You can create up to four SSIDs per access point with VLAN support. As far as advanced features, the unit has band steering, an enhanced QoS functionality called automatic traffic prioritization, and a feature called airtime fairness to help curve the negative impact from older or slower devices.

ZyXEL WAC6503D-S
The ZyXel WAC6503D-S, priced at $899, is targeted towards the enterprise-level market. It is a three stream (3×3) 802.11ac AP and offers theoretical data rates up to 1,300Mbps for 802.11ac. However, in our testing, it only reached 232.6Mbps. The unit is designed for ceiling mounting, with the smoke detector look and feel.

On the front/top of the AP you’ll find seven LED status lights. On the back/bottom you’ll find three Ethernet ports: PoE port for uplink, secondary LAN port, and one for console access. You’ll find a small reset button and AC power jack as well.

A separate NXC Series WLAN controller is required for full central management capabilities. In addition to the regular AP mode, this access point supports WDS and a monitor mode for rogue access point detection. This ZyXEL AP supports up to 16 SSIDs with VLAN support. It has load balancing and band steering functionality. This AP series has what the company calls its Smart Antenna technology, which dynamically chooses the best of more than 700 antenna patterns to use for transmitting to individual clients

Included free of charge is the ZyXEL Wireless Optimizer (ZWO) software, which is a mapped-based Wi-Fi simulation, planning, and surveying tool.


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How to fix repeated “an unknown issue occurred and Google Drive needs to quit” error?

I keep getting this error message when trying to sync a folder with Google Drive on my Windows 8 PC. Any suggestions on how to fix it?

For Macs:
1.
Select “Quit Google Drive” from the sync client menu.
2. In Finder select “Go” –> “Go to Folder…”.
3. Enter this, exactly: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Drive
4. Open the folder titled “cloud_graph”.
5. Delete the file titled “dict_2.db”.
6. Restart the desktop sync client.

For PCs:
1. Select “Quit Google Drive” from the sync client menu.
2. Select “Choose File”, and navigate to: %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Google\Drive
3. Open the folder titled “cloud_graph”.
4. Delete the file titled “dict_2.db”.
5. Restart the desktop sync client.”

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Complete CompTIA Exams Training for $50 Unlimited Life Time Access Membership

Complete CompTIA Exams Training for $50 Unlimited Life Time Access Membership

CompTIA Boot Camps
For IT Pros that need to get CompTIA certified fast – guaranteed – in just days! Accelerated classroom training that lets you stay, study, and sit for your certification exams all in one place. CompTIA Authorized Partner Program Trainer; Official CompTIA Courseware; Exam Simulators; On-site Test Vouchers; State-of-the-art Training and Lab Equipment; CompTIA Certified CTT+ Instructors; and much more…

CompTIA Online Self-study Courses
CompTIA approved e-learning courseware. Online training lets you study for your certification exams on your schedule – when and where you want! These courses map directly to the learning objectives required to successfully pass the CompTIA exams.

CompTIA eBooks
Certkingdom Referenceware from Books24x7®, provides the ultimate productivity, learning and reference solution for IT professionals. Certkingdom delivers the full contents of thousands of books, reports, documents and more in a fully searchable, Web-based environment. This professional information tool is packed with recent, relevant, best-in-class technical reference material from trusted publishers such as Wrox, MIT Press, McGraw-Hill Osborne, Wiley and many others. This comprehensive resource spans the spectrum of technology topics, including all CompTIA certifications. Hundreds of thousands of IT professionals already rely on Certkingdom for instant self-directed learning, reference, and assistance.

CompTIA Test Preps
Certkingdom Exams allow learners to test their knowledge in a simulated certification-testing environment, for many of the most popular certification exams from Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, CompTIA and PMI. Each Certkingdom Exam maps to 100% of the objectives on the vendor exam. Study Mode: The un-timed Study Mode allows learners to assess their knowledge and receive detailed responses after each question. For additional information, students are directed to specific sections of relevant courses for further study. Certification Mode: The against-the-clock Certification Mode is designed to mimic a certification exam. In Certification Mode, detailed feedback is available after the exam has been completed.

CompTIA A+
Covers preventative maintenance, basic networking, installation, troubleshooting, communication and professionalism.

CompTIA Network+
Covers managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, operating and configuring basic network infrastructure.

CompTIA Security+
Covers system security, network infrastructure, cryptography, assessments and audits.

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
Covers the technical knowledge and skills required to conceptualize, design, and engineer secure solutions across complex enterprise environments. It involves applying critical thinking and judgment across a broad spectrum of security disciplines to propose and implement solutions that map to enterprise drivers.

CompTIA Server+
Covers areas such as RAID, SCSI, managing multiple CPUs and disaster recovery.

CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI
Covers user administration, file permissions, software configurations and the fundamental management of Linux systems.

IT Job Resource Center
Despite the high unemployment rate in the United States, there are more than 450,000 IT job openings in the country. Many of these jobs require skills that are tested through CompTIA certifications. CompTIA wants to help match unemployed candidates with IT aptitude to these jobs.

The IT industry offers a multi-pronged career development roadmap in key technology areas for individuals new to the field and IT professionals in transition.

Regardless of the path chosen, CompTIA credentials can be essential stepping stones in achieving this goal.

Service/Help Desk
CompTIA certifications like CompTIA A+, the entry-level rite of passage for IT technicians, and CompTIA PDI+ for printer and document-imaging technicians are the foundation for roles including computer service technician, help desk technician, network support technician, field support technician and service center technician.

Network Administration
Foundation programs including CompTIA’s entry-level CompTIA A+ certification to CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI for professionals with 12 months experience and CompTIA Server+ and CompTIA CTP+ following 18-24 months experience can lead to job functions including server technician, system administrator, network support technician, Internet systems administrator and field support technician.

Security / Networking

Building on the fundamentals provided in CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI, CompTIA Security+ covers network security, compliance and operational security, cryptography, threats and vulnerabilities, and identity management for security professionals with at least two years experience. Sample job functions include Internet security specialist, network analyst, systems administrator, database administrator and software engineer.


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Comptia A+ Essentials Exam Simulator

Certkigndom.com A+ Essentials exam simulator consists of 425+ questions with Flash cards. The tests are offered in two modes. A. Online version, and b. Downloadable version. In the online version, a user need to take the tests online after logging in to the website (Internet connectivity is required). In the download version, a user may download the Certkingdom, and take the test on his/her desktop computer.

CompTIA® A+ Essentials Exam Simulator (220-801) Details

Exam Simulator Cert A+ Essentials

Exam Objectives Covered PC Hardware 40%
Networking 27%
Laptops 10%
Printers 11%
Operational Procedures 11%
Total 100%

Number of questions in the practice test 425+ questions

Question Types Multiple Choice Single/Multiple Answer, Exhibit type.

The important features of the Exam Simulator:

Up to date practice questions with detailed explanations.
Immediate online activation.
Verify for any product updates.
Store and view results at a later date, or review answers.
Integrated Test Environment that allows for installed/available test modules.
Supports several question types including multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blanks, drag-n-drop, etc. that provide close to actual exam environment.

Flash cards.
220-801 and 220-802 training, 220-801 and 220-802 videos, 220-801 and 220-802 online training, 220-801 and 220-802 study guide, 220-801 and 220-802 ebooks
Number of Exams

Two exams (maximum of 90 questions, 90 minutes): 220-801 and 220-802 (JK0-801 and JK0-802 for CompTIA Academy Partners)

Cost per Exam
$194 USD per exam; Exams offered by Pearson VUE: www.pearsonvue.com/comptia

Exam vouchers available at CompTIA

URL certification.comptia.org/getCertified/certifications/a.aspx

Self-Study Materials CompTIA Study Materials: CompTIA offers a number of self-study materials including exam objectives, sample questions, study guides (nominal fee of $50 USD), as well
as classroom and e-learning training opportunities. Credential seekers may also want to check out the CertMaster online learning tool.


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You can download your Google search history, but you should delete it instead

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Google’s ability to let users download their search histories. Deleting it is a better option.

There’s been a lot of Internet buzz this week about the “news” that Google lets users download their search histories. Many Web commentators seem to find this capability fascinating, even though it’s been in place at least since 2014 without anyone really noticing.

But here’s my question: Aside from morbid curiosity, why would you really want to download it at all?

In fact, while your search history apparently has value for Google, which claims it helps the company deliver “more relevant results,” “smarter predictions,” and cross-device connections, it’s hard to see what benefit seeing it has for the actual searcher. In fact, it seems more like a tool designed to help dig up search-history dirt on someone else!
042215 google search results download image 1

Given all that, why even collect it in the first place? Personally, I don’t notice dramatically better results when searching on my devices vs. someone else’s machines. Do you? Do you owe Google your search history in exchange for your Web searches? No, you don’t.

I recommend turning on the option to delete your Web Search history, and setting Google not to record that history. Furthermore, if you run an IT department, I’d recommend that all your users do the same thing.

Even if you think all your searches are innocuous, that history file is still a security risk. There’s simply not enough benefit to you or your company to bother keeping it.

If this mini Internet firestorm on this issue causes significant numbers of people to stop saving their search histories, then maybe it wasn’t so pointless after all.


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